As Mancunian boxer Ricky Hatton finally hangs up his gloves, another local sporting legend, former Lancashire and England cricketer Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff, is preparing to step into the ring against American heavyweight Richard Dawson in Manchester tonight.
I'm no fan of the so-called fight game. Professional boxing - people beating each other up for money - is not my idea of sport but in most cases I can understand why they do it. For many boxers from the inner city estates of London, Manchester, New York or Chicago, the only alternative means to escape the poverty and deprivation of their surroundings is crime (Flintoff's opponent Dawson is apparently an ex-convict). But in Flintoff's case, I fail to see why a wealthy young man would risk serious injury or worse by taking up boxing.